On March 8, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of its Employment Eligibility Verification Form, colloquially referred to as a “Form I-9.” The new form, which bears a revision date of “(Rev. 03/08/13)N,” contains a number of substantive and structural changes to previous versions, including revised instructions, a new layout, and the addition of several data fields – telephone number, email address, and the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable). As with prior versions, the revised Form I-9 should be completed for all new employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.
The new Form I-9 went into effect on March 8, and employers should begin using it immediately. However, because USCIS recognizes that employers may need additional time to update their business processes and implement use of the revised form, employers may continue to use prior versions of Form I-9 – (Rev. 08/07/09)Y and (Rev. 02/02/09)N – until May 7. After May 7, all prior versions of Form I-9 will not be accepted, and employers will be required to use only the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N. Employers who fail to use the new Form I-9 after May 7 may be subject to all applicable penalties under §274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1324a.
The new Form I-9 is not retroactive. Accordingly, employers need not complete one for current employees whose Form I-9 is on file – i.e., a version of the form that was authorized for use at the time it was completed. However, if an employee requires re-verification – e.g., if the employment authorization documents initially presented by the employee have expired – then the employer should complete §3 of the new Form I-9 at the required time and attach it to the prior version of the form. In other words, after May 7, employers should not complete any section of a prior version of Form I-9 for any purpose.
USCIS also offers a Spanish version of the revised form, but the Spanish version is authorized for use by employers and employees in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states and other territories may print and use the Spanish version for their reference, but must complete the revised Form I-9 in English only.
The revised Form I-9 is available for immediate download at the following link. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. Additional information regarding the revised Form I-9 can be found at www.uscis.gov/I-9Central.